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updated: 7/10/2014 7:54 PM

McIlvaine again at odds with city over 1975 project

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  • Construction work being done on the property of Cliff McIlvaine is not in complete compliance with an agreement signed with the city of St. Charles, a city attorney says. McIlvaine's attorney disagrees.

       Construction work being done on the property of Cliff McIlvaine is not in complete compliance with an agreement signed with the city of St. Charles, a city attorney says. McIlvaine's attorney disagrees.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Construction work on Cliff McIlvaine's property in St. Charles could result in McIlvaine and the city returning to court, according to a city attorney.

       Construction work on Cliff McIlvaine's property in St. Charles could result in McIlvaine and the city returning to court, according to a city attorney.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

Only months after inking an agreement to wrap up a 1975 home addition project, Cliff McIlvaine is again at odds with St. Charles officials, who say little work has been done on his property and believe the matter will end up in court again.

Despite the city's objections, McIlvaine recently was granted permission to keep a boom truck on his property through July 15 to trim trees and do other work, according to Kane County court records.

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McIlvaine's attorney, Phil Piscopo, said his client is working as fast as he can.

But a 35-by-72-foot storage facility might not be completed until September, and the city wants it done by the end of July.

City officials wrote McIlvaine's attorney an email in late May expressing frustration that it appeared no visible work had been done, according to court records.

"I don't believe he's completed the work he needs to complete," St. Charles city attorney Phil Luetkehans said this week. "My belief -- and I hope I'm wrong -- is we'll be back in court because he has not complied with the order."

Luetkehans said McIlvaine has not yet screened or enclosed five to six commercial vehicles, nor construction material on the property on the 600 block of Prairie Street -- tasks that were supposed to be done at the end of June.

Also, McIlvaine has not begun work on a structure to house his construction materials.

"We signed an agreement in good faith. In some ways, he's finished what was required," Luetkehans said, acknowledging McIlvaine did finish electrical work and painting, and had corrected drainage issues on the site.

The city sued McIlvaine in fall 2011 in an effort to inspect his property for code violations for the first time since a permit was issued in 1975.

McIlvaine and the city eventually signed a "consent decree" in fall 2011 to have him complete the project by September 2012.

But McIlvaine missed numerous key deadlines in early 2012 and refused to connect to the city water supply, a move that landed him in jail for two weeks for contempt of court.

In May 2013, a judge gave the city authority and permission to take over some aspects of the project, such as installing a conventional, asphalt shingle roof and an exterior stairwell on the home's west side.

McIlvaine and the city went back and forth on several issues before signing another agreement in April 2014 to complete the project's last steps this summer and fall, and to erect a storage facility on his land to house and shield construction materials from view.

"He's working as quickly as he can per the city's regulations," said Piscopo, who added McIlvaine has not missed any deadlines spelled out in the April 2014 agreement.

Piscopo said there was no deadline to complete the storage facility and the current situation was not a repeat of his client missing deadlines in 2012.

"I don't see it that way," Piscopo continued. "He's been in compliance with everything so far in the agreed order. Obviously, I can't predict the future."

McIlvaine did not return a phone message. He is being fined $100 a day back to summer 2012 for each day his home and the project are not up to city code.

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